Artorias of the Abyss review

After almost a year after its spectacular debut, Dark Souls has a DLC for consoles. The “Prepare To Die” edition for PC already gave PC gamers a few months head start at tearing this DLC apart, or being torn apart by this DLC. But finally, Artorias of the Abyss has come to consoles to wreak havoc on Dark Souls players.

Players returning to the DLC will find a host of new weapons, extremely hard bosses and unforgiving enemies and friendly NPCs that you can still kill. No doubt the DLC will bring back a lot of players as well as populate the new area with blood thirsty PvPers.

So as soon as I booted up Dark Souls again, I was greeted with the “You Died” screen where I may have rage quit a long time ago. Pleasantly amused, I proceeded to complete the chain of events that would catapult me back in time to help Artorias keep his honor intact.

Twisted Story

Those who killed the Golem behind the Hydra will already be familiar with Artorias and our little friend Dusk of Oolacile. That’s where this story begins, then you head to complete a series of events after which you finally examine the portal and get grabbed by a freaky hand with eyes on it (was it a hand? I don’t know). And then plop! You’re in the world of the past!

The DLC is set 300 or so years before the events of Dark Souls, so you can imagine some tweaks in the world. You arrive in a place called Sanctuary Guardian which throws your first challenge in your face. I can’t really go beyond that without giving out any spoilers, but the story is great and engaging and because you know what your goal is in the new DLC, it makes following the story quite an easy task, playing it is another story altogether.

Unforgiving Gameplay

Those who are coming back to Dark Souls after a long hiatus will find the unforgiving gameplay is still there, no breaks just constant action, even when you find a small safe area you’re afraid to stand still for too long incase something comes along and wants to ruin your day. Everything that made the standard game so great carries into the DLC, the strategies for some bosses repeat themselves, but hey thats great!

As the original game was played with a controller, I honestly cannot imagine how it would be if I had a keyboard. It just feels so right to have everything in between your hands. The developers even agreed so much that they recommended PC players hook up a controller to the computer. Wild! The familiar difficult gameplay is twice as rewarding and twice as frustrating in this DLC. Coming back from a hiatus and getting beat thinking “I should know this!” and (sometimes) throwing your controller in the general direction of the television screen.

Frustration got the best of me, and I found the best thing to cure it was to just take a break, come back an hour or so later and be at it again. And let me tell you now, that first fight is no piece of cake.

Pretty Good

Overall, a pretty damn good continuation of a pretty damn good game. I didn’t hesitate a second once it popped up on the PSN store, and I don’t regret my decision. Although difficult and sometimes frustrating, it tests your true gamer skills. If you’re looking for a challenge, this DLC will definitely add to your grief!


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